Author: Tony Floriani

21 Aug UIC United Faculty Statement on Campus Health, Safety, and Re-Opening

uicufwebB

UIC United Faculty is eager to serve our students and effectively engage in the incredibly important project of education. That said, we have no confidence that the campus is reasonably safe. We do not have confidence that the Administration’s plan will sufficiently provide for a safe reopening, let alone sustain a healthy open campus for the fall semester.  The UIC administration is relying on Illinois Board of Higher Education recommendations that were not endorsed by faculty experts on the committee, who have issued an alternative ‘best practices’ report.

 

  • We are troubled by the lack of confidence members of the support and custodial staff have with the current plan and their ability to carry it out to an adequate degree with the personnel and equipment at their disposal.  We aren’t prepared to risk their lives.

 

  • We are concerned that the current testing and tracing program will be insufficient to stop an outbreak on campus from spreading widely and back into the various communities where we and our students work and live.

It appears that the current plan meets only minimum standards, with decisions prioritizing opening rather than saving lives and preventing illness–which should take precedence over all other concerns. We should never put our students, staff, faculty, and all of their families at unnecessary risk.

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

20 Aug Despite Lingering Concerns, Faculty Voices DID Make A Difference

uicufwebB

  • You Made a Difference: Despite ongoing issues, our actions as a united faculty dramatically reduced the number of people who will be on-campus and at risk this fall, won compensation for (some) faculty this summer, and secured faculty discretion in course delivery/recording.
  • Safety Concerns Still Loom: As classes begin this fall UICUF remains deeply concerned about campus safety, and significant policy differences remain unresolved with Admin.
  • UICUF Continues to Fight for Faculty: Whether you have individual or collective concerns, our union is ready to continue the work of representing you and making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn. Email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com to reach a union representative.

Union Pressure DID Make a Difference
As we prepare to resume classes next week, its important to recognize that our union, through the vocal support of our membership, DID make a difference in the shape of the coming fall term. Many unilateral administration policies on everything from how and where we teach, to whether faculty got paid for off-contract summer prep work, were overturned or altered when we raised our voices together to demand better. We didn’t get everything we wanted, and much remains in policy-by-email form rather than signed agreements, but we hope you’ll agree that the following achievements would not have been possible without the collective actions of our members:

Initial Policy

Current Policy

On-Campus Teaching

No opt out policy beyond pre-COVID ADA process — 300+ faculty expected to teach 10,000 students.

Opt-out from traditional classroom instruction at faculty discretion (window is now closed)

Course Delivery

Top-down policy requiring synchronous or asynchronous formats, recording of classes

Faculty “encouraged” but not required to conduct asynchronous classes, record class sessions

Summer Pay

Mandated 80hrs unpaid prep time for online classes

$1m compensation pool for large asynchronous classes

Ongoing Safety Concerns and Policy Disagreements
Unfortunately, even with these changes, UICUF continues to have many concerns about the safety of on-campus work and learning. They began with the lack of transparency on a back-to-campus safety plan, and have only grown with the administration’s broad refusal to include union stakeholders in that planning process. Perhaps our gravest concerns, however, come from the stories of our union colleagues in SEIU and INA, who are currently considering strike votes over their working conditions. The administration’s failure to provide sufficient PPE or even enough disinfectant for custodial workers, the chronic understaffing of custodial ranks that continues despite promises of increased cleaning, and the fact of multiple unreported deaths and fresh infections (including cases reported in academic buildings this week), have been damning revelations to our members.

Last week, finally, an opt-out policy was enacted, giving faculty only 2 working days to act, and coming far too late to be practical for many faculty to use, though many in-person classes had already been cancelled under union pressure. This is only the latest decision in a pattern of the administration walking back their inscrutable on-campus instruction mandates at the last minute, leaving little time for faculty or students to adjust. Even this policy pointedly failed to address on-campus work outside of traditional classrooms, especially for our library faculty.

We want to firmly state that regardless of the administration’s stated opt-out deadline, which has passed, UICUF will support any faculty who wish to opt out of on-campus work for safety reasons. Emails us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you want help seeking accommodations.

The Work Continues
Conditions will certainly continue evolving over the coming weeks and months, and our union will continue to make UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn. Whatever your situation, we highly encourage you to engage with your colleagues and with the union through our elected representatives if you have any concerns about COVID or other campus policies this semester.

To all our colleagues, please stay safe as you continue your exceptional work!

Solidarity,
UIC United Faculty

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

17 Aug Opt-Out of On Campus Duties Before 5pm TOMORROW

uicufwebB

  • Act NOW to Opt-Out: per an unusual administrative communication this weekend, faculty have until 5pm Tuesday (TOMORROW), to opt-out of on campus teaching.
  • “Exceptions” Under Investigation: Despite the broad statement in the email, we’ve heard from some members that their Deans claim this doesn’t apply to them. We are urgently investigating these reported “exceptions,” as well as whether it applies to library duties.
  • Safety Remains a Major Concern: UICUF continues to have grave concerns about the safety of on-campus classes. We strongly recommend you request accommodations now if desired.
  • Union Support is Available: UICUF will support all requests made, informally or through the grievance procedure if necessary. A written record of your timely request will greatly improve chances of winning accommodations, even if they are initially denied.
  • Email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you would like help requesting accommodations, or if you have been denied, told you are ineligible, or are uncertain of your eligibility.

An Untimely Email
Faculty members received an unusual email on Saturday, giving everyone very short notice that we may now opt-out of on campus teaching, but also that accommodations must be requested by 5pm CST, Tuesday (TOMORROW). As has become a pattern this summer, UIC’s administration has taken some apparent action on union demands, but only through vague policy emails that leave more questions than they answer, and which arrive so late as to be nearly panic-inducing.

To add to the confusion, we’ve already heard from faculty, especially those in the College of Nursing, that their Dean claims this option does not apply to them. It is also unclear whether this option extends to duties in the Library, or other duties outside of the traditional classroom setting. UICUF is rapidly moving to investigate these issues and will communicate any updates ASAP.

One thing is clear however: if you wish to exercise your right to opt-out of on campus duties, you must do so IMMEDIATELY, regardless of uncertainty or perceived eligibility.

UICUF Will Back Members on Safety Decisions
For reasons we have discussed previously, UICUF remains deeply concerned about the safety of on-campus work, whether it is in a classroom, lab, studio, or in the library. The safety of our community is absolutely paramount, and to that end, we strongly recommend that our members exercise this option if you are in any doubt about your own safety or that of your community.

The union is committed to backing up our members on your decisions, up to and including filing grievances over denied requests for accommodation if necessary. If you want an accommodation, you should submit a written request to your supervisor before the deadline regardless of any uncertainty about eligibility. Even if you expect the request to be denied, a record of your request will improve the chances that we can successfully press your claim.

If you are uncertain about whether you can opt out, you have been told you are not eligible, or your request is denied for any reason, LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY. We will continue to fight for universal opt-out discretion, both at the university level and for individuals at risk.

In Solidarity
UIC United Faculty

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

11 Aug UIC Faculty Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Against Administration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2020

CONTACTS
Robert Johnston, UICUF Chief Steward
773-610-1442 robert.douglas.johnston@gmail.com

Charitianne Williams, UICUF Communications Chair
773-531-3265 charitianne@gmail.com

 

UIC Faculty Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Against Administration

Administration has violated its legal obligation to bargain in good faith over changed working conditions.

CHICAGO- The union representing UIC faculty has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) over a summer compensation program enacted unilaterally by administration while under negotiation at the bargaining table. Rather than following faculty recommendations, the administration stated the money would go only to faculty preparing large online lecture courses for fall, but in fact the distribution of funds appears inconsistent and fraught with error.

This follows a set of ULPs filed simultaneously earlier in the summer for similar actions taken that the union feels have obstructed negotiations. The administration has failed to bargain in good faith over changes in faculty working conditions and the impact on union contracts. Top university officials at UIC have skipped scheduled meetings with faculty union representatives and refused to put agreements in writing.

In March, UIC United Faculty  (UICUF) indicated the intent to bargain over COVID-19 related workplace issues including health and safety, academic freedom, intellectual property, promotion timelines disrupted by the virus, and the reappointment of non-tenure track faculty let go prematurely due to fear of decreased enrollments.

“The health and safety of our members remains the priority,” says Aaron Krall, Executive Vice-President of UICUF and head of the bargaining team.

Trouble at the bargaining table has also prompted an emergency membership meeting this week for union members to discuss confidence in the administration’s plan to return to campus, faculty legal rights if assigned to teach on campus, and possible future actions for the union membership if progress is not made.

“Our concerns are not being addressed,” said Krall. “We worry how many faculty or students must fall ill or die before our demands are taken seriously.”

The UIC United Faculty (Local 6456) represents all full-time tenure and non-tenure track faculty at UIC. UICUF is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professionals.

###

Read More

10 Aug Can We Trust Our Administration to Keep Us Safe?

uicufwebB

  • Low on Trust and Out of Time: UICUF is rapidly losing trust in the administration to protect students, faculty, and staff, as contract negotiations collapse without producing credible answers on health and safety for a campus reopening in just 2 weeks.
  • Empty Promises: Admin has suggested they’ll implement increased cleaning, social distancing, and testing/contact tracing, but our staff and nursing union colleagues’ experiences cast deep doubt on their dedication and capacity to carry out these plans.
  • Facts on The Ground: SEIU reports ongoing, unacknowledged deaths and severe illnesses over the summer, alongside denied PPE requests, a 50% shortfall in custodial headcount, and a risk assessment process designed to produce denials.
  • What Now?: Sign the IFT Higher Ed Council’s demands for safe returns to campus immediately and join us for an all-hands membership meeting Thursday, 3pm.

 

Where We Are Today
We have no agreements on health and safety. We have no confidence that the administration will return to bargaining in good faith. We have no trust that the administration’s unilateral announcements on safety measures are practical, feasible, or credible. And we have no more time to lose.

Our administration has been offering a master class in projecting confidence this summer, while behind the scenes they’ve done little to ensure a safe return to campus. Rather, they’ve spent this time undermining contractual obligations to bargain that would force them to make meaningful commitments on safety to their stakeholders, including students, faculty, and staff. Last week, with Provost Poser notably absent, they walked back promises of a written memorandum of understanding on agreements reached through negotiations thus far, and attempted to describe the process as being “at impasse”– a term with serious legal ramifications, and, in this case, used improperly.

The administration simultaneously reaffirmed their intention to simply impose conditions under negotiation without reaching an agreement. Their latest move, to drop in-person requirements for certain freshman-oriented classes, exemplifies this kind of decision making, which may sound good but affects barely a handful of the nearly 200 faculty still scheduled to teach in person.

In short, top administrators continue to show us that they have no intention of working with us, even on critical issues of health and safety, with just two weeks before some faculty and many students are forced to return to campus.

Promising More Than They Can Deliver
Meanwhile, a canvas of our union colleagues performing nursing, custodial, maintenance, and staff duties on campus and in the hospital gives us a grim preview of what faculty can expect on August 24th.

People are dying. Many more have gotten sick. SEIU reports that this has been an ongoing phenomenon throughout the summer, despite there being only a skeleton staff working on campus. But our administrators have done little to acknowledge the danger. They’ve also failed to mention that the custodial headcount was 50% below operational requirements before the pandemic began–or that they have been receiving, and denying, demands from hospital staff for PPE since March. Even plans for testing and contact tracing, which were laid out clearly for the Urbana-Champaign Campus, have only been hinted at for UIC, leaving open questions about the will and ability to implement these complex programs in such an alarmingly short time.

Our SEIU (university and hospital staff) and INA (nurses) colleagues are actively preparing for strike votes right now over these issues, and we will provide them with all the support that we can offer. There is little reason to believe that faculty will be treated differently, or that these issues will suddenly disappear with the influx of thousands of people returning to campus this Fall.

Time to Act
We’ve worked diligently to persuade the administration, through collaboration, shared governance, and bargaining, to take our demands for a safe Fall reopening seriously. They’ve casually and negligently squandered these opportunities for discourse. That is why our Representative Assembly, the elected body of faculty representing each college and governing our union, has decided to call an all-members meeting.

We need you, and all of our members, to decide what should come next, and help us make it happen. Join us for our member meeting this Thursday, 8/13, from 3-4:30PM as we discuss how best to keep our members, our students and our campus community safe.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

31 Jul Moving Forward, With Or Without An Agreement

uicufwebB

  • Objections Disregarded: Provost Poser says she is moving forward with a summer compensation plan, one rejected by our membership, heedless of ongoing negotiations.
  • Pattern of Bad Faith Bargaining: This is the latest and loudest gesture in a long pattern of undermining the union’s right to formal bargaining.
  • Undercutting Negotiations: Continued unilateral actions by Admin cast serious doubt over further negotiations, leaving policy gaps unclarified ahead of the Fall semester.
  • Defending Our Rights: Regardless of bargaining outcomes, UICUF will put its full weight behind defending members’ rights, especially to safety and academic autonomy, and will vigorously support members’ ability to practice these rights.

 

Degrading Trust and Undermining Negotiations
It is time, and perhaps well past time, to ask how sincere our administration actually is in pursuing ongoing negotiations with the union. Indeed, the latest turn in bargaining has left our team with significantly diminished confidence that any meaningful agreements can be reached before the start of the Fall semester.

In an email yesterday, Provost Poser informed us of her intention to move forward with a plan to narrowly distribute $1 million dollars among roughly four hundred faculty slated to teach large asynchronous classes in the Fall. This plan was resoundingly rejected by a vote of the union membership weeks ago for failing to acknowledge the work of nearly one thousand other faculty members doing similar preparations. Yet with this announcement, Poser declared that it is already “too late” to change course, seemingly acknowledging that once again, implementation was underway even as the administration claimed to be negotiating with the union.

To be clear, these faculty deserve this money–and much more–for all their work well beyond contractual norms. So do all the other faculty in our bargaining unit putting in the time and effort to craft exceptional remote classes for their students this Fall. And while we disagree with how the administration is choosing to distribute these funds, we are far more disturbed by the implications this move has for the wider negotiation. At a minimum, their laser focus and simultaneous total inflexibility on compensation issues undercuts the notion that the administration is committed to working collaboratively on other issues. In particular, the health and safety of our members and students–which the collective faculty have indicated over and over are  far more important–has been shoved behind conversations on compensation by the administration, conversations we now understand to have been farcical from the outset.

Meeting Is Not Bargaining
Bargaining, by definition, means negotiating to agreement. Since the beginning of these negotiations, however, the administration has set a tone of meeting with us, while studiously avoiding actually bargaining with us. By failing to bargain in good faith on compensation and so many other issues in the past, the administration is guilty of more than just poor form. They are systematically undermining the very basis of the union’s rights to represent you, our members, and our ability to enforce the contract for which you’ve all fought over the years.

We will return to negotiations this afternoon to express our concern that these negotiations are heading in the wrong direction. Regardless of bargaining outcomes, however, UICUF will remain committed to vigorously defending our faculty’s rights, especially to a safe and healthy environment for ourselves and our students, by all means available to us.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

 

Read More

24 Jul Safety First: Demand a Safe Fall Return Now!

uicufwebB

  • Sign Our Statement: As we’ve mentioned previously, we have a statement out, vetted by health and academic freedom experts in our membership, advocating faculty discretion to opt out of in person classes if you believe you are at risk.
  • IFT Higher Ed Locals Advocate Remote Classes: Union faculty across the state agree remote learning is the prudent choice for a safe return to school this semester.
  • Bargaining Continues Next Week: Admin is expected to return to the bargaining table next Friday with a draft Memorandum of Understanding on issues under negotiation. If they follow through, this will be a major move toward concluding negotiations.

Statement on Safe Return-to-Campus and Faculty Autonomy
As we’ve mentioned in prior messages, we are still collecting signatures on our statement on Returning to Campus this Fall. The statement foregrounds the need for faculty autonomy in defining their own risk relative to the COVID pandemic when deciding whether to return to in-person classes. It also echoes the University Senate’s statement advocating the freedom of faculty to deliver courses in whatever format best suits their class needs, based on their own professional judgement.

Signing onto this statement is an important action to let the UIC administration know you are serious about demanding your rights to discretion, both in terms of your personal safety and your pedagogy as an academic professional. Please sign the statement today!

IFT Higher Ed Locals’ Press Conference
In a press event yesterday, IFT’s higher education locals launched a new report on Best Practices for returning to campus this Fall, which is based in the most up-to-date science and intended to provide all of higher ed institutions in Illinois clear and uniform guidance. Ultimately, the call is for remote learning. If face-to-face classes are required, it should be subject to the faculty member’s decision, based on a thorough risk assessment. Besides classrooms, Kevin O’Brien, UICUF Library rep, discussed specific concerns about plans now underway to re-open UIC libraries and the real health risks students, staff, and faculty might face.

Impact Bargaining at a Critical Point
While we’re far from agreement on many key items, we expect a significant step forward next week, when we’ve been told by Labor Relations to expect a draft Memorandum of Understanding, documenting in writing our agreements thus far. You may recall that, to date, the administration has fiercely resisted putting anything in writing, and has lately tried to narrow the scope of negotiations to how a $1 million dollar payout for summer prep work is distributed.

We’ve rejected, on advisement from our membership, the notion that these negotiations are fundamentally about money, and continue to insist on agreements around campus safety, faculty autonomy, and reappointment of faculty. While we expect to reach an agreement around proposed payouts, we cannot ignore the administration’s silence on basic rights like faculty discretion to opt-out from in person teaching if it would endanger themselves or those close to them.

Once again, we are strongly encouraging you to support our bargaining efforts by signing our Return to Campus statement, and by submitting testimonials if you have them on how a forced return to in-person teaching would affect you and your students.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

17 Jul Reopening And Reappointment

uicufwebB

 

UICUF Statement on UIC’s Return to Campus Policies
The UICUF bargaining team has been meeting with upper administration weekly in the effort to reach agreement on issues such as compensation for off-contract work, NTT reappointment, and the safety precautions necessary for the fall semester. There have been some victories, including the roll-over of professional development funds and the procurement of funds to compensate faculty (although use of the funds is still being negotiated).

Important issues remain, though, such as allowing faculty an opt-out of teaching face-to-face on-campus and the right of faculty to decide for themselves the best medium for delivery of course content. The bargaining team feels strongly that the faculty are the only ones who can appropriately decide where and how their courses are delivered. In the face of upper administration obduracy, the bargaining team has created this statement outlining the issues and is asking faculty to endorse the demands as a way of showing that faculty is united and quite resolute on these issues. We ask all faculty to read and endorse the statement.

NTT Reappointment Survey
An important deadline for UIC faculty has officially passed–per our union contract, NTT faculty must be notified by July 16th every year whether or not they will be re-appointed. The bargaining team has asked that all UIC faculty be reappointed in order to maintain an optimal faculty:student ratio that has actually been dropping in recent years as hiring fails to keep up with growing enrollments. If you have not received your letter of reappointment, if you have not been reappointed, or if your letter came with caveats leaving your reappointment still in question, PLEASE fill out this survey so that we can work towards making the faculty whole.

Provost’s Office Hours
Finally, Provost Susan Poser will be holding her weekly office hour with faculty today, Friday, July 17, from 1-2pm. We urge all UICUF members to attend office hours and actively participate in shaping UIC’s future. Ask questions, push for answers, and BE HEARD.

To join the meeting by video, use the link and password below.
Link: https://uic.zoom.us/j/93173114912?pwd=NW0xbm00elY3ZUx6bmRNSXZoMnNUdz09
Password: 1b.dG9hy

To join by phone, please dial the number listed below and enter the meeting ID when prompted.
Phone Number: (312)626-6799
Meeting ID: 931 7311 4912#
Password: 76832317#

***

We issue regular updates via email, FacebookTwitterYouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

09 Jul UICUF Stands Powerfully For Academic Freedom And In Solidarity With International Students

uicufwebB

  • UICUF membership meeting shows faculty ready to push hard for increased autonomy in fall, compensation for increased summer workloads
  • UIC GEO’s International Student Caucus urges UIC administration to act in response to ICE’s decision about international students
  • Attend the Provost’s office hours TODAY from 1-2 pm to participate in shaping UIC’s Fall 2020 re-opening.

 

The summer Membership Meeting focused on four issues central to the UICUF bargaining team’s strategy to protect faculty:

  • Ongoing health and safety concerns 
  • Reappointment of NTT faculty
  • Faculty autonomy and intellectual property rights related to online course delivery
  • Compensation for course preparation work being done over the Summer 

 

As previously communicated, UIC Administration has offered $1 million for faculty compensation this summer. This amount is insufficient to pay all faculty currently preparing online courses for fall. When polled whether the amount should be accepted or further negotiated, over 66% of UICUF members in attendance felt the bargaining team should go back to the table and secure greater compensation for the preparations that all faculty are making for fall courses. 

All faculty felt strongly about the faculty’s right to determine the best mode of teaching for their courses, specifically in terms of asynchronous versus synchronous delivery–an academic freedom that UICUF is fighting for at the bargaining table. It is UICUF’s position that faculty should decide what and how they teach, and sentiments at the meeting reinforced that commitment to faculty rights, experience, and wisdom. 

Much of UICUF’s work this summer has involved advocating for NTT faculty re-hiring, both generally and in terms of specific colleagues.  The administration continues to refuse to move forward on a great number of NTT contracts–even among those who have been officially charged with using a “course builder” to prepare their large fall courses.  The provost has said that she planned to have most appointments in place before the 7/16 contractual deadline, but a week away from that, there has been distressingly little movement. This is unacceptable in human terms for our faculty, and it’s unacceptable in terms of properly preparing the best courses possible for our students.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are the ongoing health and safety concerns around campus reopening. UIC Administration agrees that current standards for opt-outs do not apply to our current context. It is the bargaining team’s position that any faculty member who does not want to return to campus in fall should not be required to do so, and should be protected from any repercussions connected to their decision. The membership agreed that the bargaining team should continue to seek opt-out allowances that let faculty determine for themselves if a return to campus poses a threat to the wellbeing of themselves, their loved one, or the broader community, especially during the savage return of the coronavirus throughout the country. We are heartened by the revolt of faculty around the country around this issue.


And then there was this…
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced on 7/6 that it would revoke temporary modifications made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed international students to retain legal student-visa status even if attending all their classes online. SEVP’s repeal of these exemptions is widely seen as not only premature in light of nationally rising COVID numbers, but also politically motivated. UICUF is working with other groups, especially the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), to find ways faculty can support international students, as well as to speak out against this untimely and inhumane policy. Harvard and MIT have filed suit against the decision, seeking a restraining order to prevent enforcement of the policy in Fall 2020, but it is unclear what will happen while the case is being decided. The UIC GEO International Student Caucus has submitted a letter to UIC Administration suggesting these actions to ensure the continued support of UIC’s international student body: 

  • Undergraduate and graduate international students must be able to register for thesis research credits, dissertation research credits, independent study credits, etc., in every department, and these credits must be coded as in-person credits.
  • If UIC is forced into a full remote teaching scenario, the credits must retain in-person coding.
  • The Office of International Students must clarify what I-20 certification will look like for Fall 2020 as well as how student compliance will be verified. 
  • Incoming graduate students denied either entry into the country or tuition waivers in relation to their ability to arrive at the start of the Fall semester should be allowed to defer their UIC acceptance up to a year.

The UIC UF Executive Board and Representative Assembly have endorsed these recommendations and also ask UIC Administration to act upon these recommendations, making clear the university respects UIC’s international students and will fight to protect their futures.

Provost Susan Poser will be holding her weekly office hour with faculty today, 7/9, from 1-2 pm. We urge all UICUF members to attend office hours and actively participate in shaping UIC’s future. Ask questions, push for answers, and BE HEARD.

Link: https://uic.zoom.us/j/95446129176?pwd=TUU2NXh6dVZhcFRENW5NUHVySTVSdz09
Password: 8b.@D7Gs
To join by phone, please dial the number listed below and enter the meeting ID when prompted.
Phone Number: (312)626-6799
Meeting ID: 954 4612 9176#
Password: 38916471#

***

We issue regular updates via email, FacebookTwitterYouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

25 Jun Bargaining Team to Consult Members on Compensation Proposal

uicufwebB

  • Impact Bargaining Resumes: Impact bargaining began in March, but admin did not take it seriously until we issued Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) against them. Last week, per our demand, admin finally returned to the table.
  • Admin Puts Money On the Table: After ongoing pressure from union members around unpaid labor, there is now money on the table(!), BUT their proposal would compensate under 30% of faculty, and at only a fractional rate.
  • Compensatory Time for Course Development: We initially proposed that all faculty who are developing online courses for the Fall should get 1 compensatory course release, usable in the next two years.
  • Member Meeting Called Wed 7/1: UICUF will hold a virtual member meeting NEXT WEDNESDAY, 7/1, from 3:30-5pm, to solicit input on admin’s comp proposal, and other bargaining priorities. All members will receive login details early next week.

 

A Renewed Effort on Impact Bargaining
Admin has, until now, pursued a strategy of meeting with the union, then doing whatever they want. We’ve since called out this practice in a series of Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) charges, filed concurrently with our demand to resume bargaining. As we shift from crisis management to Fall planning, there is no excuse for the administration to avoid timely and meaningful negotiations with faculty.

Addressing Unpaid Labor This Summer
One of our core demands has been for the administration to compensate faculty working mostly off-contract this Summer to prepare remote Fall classes. Union members have been pressuring the administration over presumptions of unpaid labor for weeks, especially since the announcement that some will be expected to spend nearly 100 hours this Summer on these preparations.

In our most recent negotiations, we proposed compensation in the form of a course release to be used by faculty sometime over the next two years. We believe this would be an appropriate compromise between adequate compensation for the extra labor of developing online-ready classes, and flexibility for departments and the administration to plan and budget.

In an unusual turn, however, the administration actually came with a response in hand, putting money on the table to address the issue of unpaid labor. Their offer as it is currently formulated would compensate less than 30% of faculty, and at only a fraction of the value of a single course release, but it is a move in the right direction in response to ongoing pressure from our members.

Consulting Our Members
Given the implications of the administration’s current offer, and the urgency of other imminent deadlines on renewals and campus safety decisions, our Bargaining Team plans to solicit input from our full membership NEXT WEDNESDAY, 7/1, from 3:30-5pm. Members will receive a link to participate in a virtual meeting early next week. The Bargaining Team will share their experiences thus far, but our goal is to open the process up for member participation in considering where to go from here. You must be a member to attend, and current non-members can join by following the application instructions on our website.

As ever, if you have any questions, you can email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More